Sex & Lower Back Pain : Tips for Better Sex

by Chrystal Bougon on November 4, 2010

Back Pain sometimes makes it difficult for people to have sex. We have a fabulous guest blog from our friend and chiropractor, Dr. Doroth Ponton, DC.   (And, believe it or not, some people buy the Sex Swing from our very tasteful online romance store due to the fact that their back pain makes it too difficult to have sex in their bed.)

Dr. Ponton’s website is and if you would like to connect with her. Dorothy has a private practice in San Jose on Olin Dr. and she specializes in gentle chiropractice care and customized nutrition. THANK YOU, Dorothy. This topic comes up frequently at our home pleasure parties.

At any given time in the US, 35 million of us has low back pain. (LBP) No matter our age, race, gender, or weight, 80% of us are going to have at least one episode of severe LBP. That means most of us are going to face a LBP challenge. So, you are on a mission to have better sex and

you’ve come to the conculsion that pain isn’t going to get in the way of your mission anymore… Now What?
LBP involves the Mind and the Body, so solutions must address both. Because having your mind in a good place is key to great sex [] getting a solid diagnosis is important. That diagnosis will also guide your strategy for the best positions and toys to use. The conditions related to LBP mostly fall into a couple of categories: 1. bending forward is painful or 2. arching back is painful.
A healthy back is a result of many factors: Strength, Flexibilty, and Balance. Having a chiropractor, osteopath, or sports physician on your team of health practitioners is a good idea even if you never have LBP. If you have LBP for more than a few days schedule an evaluation. If you are having numbness and tingling down your leg or into your genital region, see a physician ASAP!
Stress, fear, and pain are closely linked, and so it is no surprise if you are concerned about this problem lasting forever or getting worse. If the LBP is interfering with your job or daily activities, it can change feelings of self worth, of masculinity or femininity. Do communicate with your parnter about your expectations of sex, and touch base about your coping strategies. I really like the way Jerry Corners, MD of the Back Pain Institute puts it:
        “In terms of maximizing sexual pleasure, it is very important to stress that all you really need is your imagination, the willingness to experiment, and be open to new areas of intimacy. But it all begins with willingness to try. You just may find the lemon of back pain can be turned into the lemonade of new sources of mutual pleasure.”


Are you willing to be open and experiment? This problem may be an opportunity in disguise. Have you always wanted to try a toy? How about finding some erotic fiction or porn made for couples? What would you do if separated due to travel? Try phone sex, even if you’re in the same room. Write erotica for each other, or just a dirty limerick. Elevate your sex life!
A word of caution! It is common to feel better, overdo it, and experience a flare up of back pain. Sex causes the release of all those lovely endorphins, and don’t we feel great when they’re flowing. Go slowly.
1. Disk related problems, pelvic torsion, and some muscle strains may feel worse when you round your back or bend forward. This can make even the basic Missionary Position uncomfortable.
-Top partners in Missionary do most of the work, so if you are the one suffering LBP, this may be an opportunity to try a more passive role. Find a comfortable position lying down on a firm surface, or sitting in a chair, and let your partner do the hard work. If that’s not for you, try changing the angle of attack by using wedge pillows or a swing. []
-If you are the bottom partner, modify the Missionary by putting a small pillow or rolled towel under the small of your back.
-Try sitting on your partner’s lap. This should provide even more control over exactly how much arch or bend you have in your lower back.
-Resting on your knees and elbows allows your lower back to sway gently into a position of comfort.
-For even more arch, place a pillow under your chest while lying on your stomach. This position is ideal if being very passive helps you to avoid the discomfort of cramping muscles.
2. Facet syndrome, dejenerative arthitis, and spinal stenosis can feel worse with too much arching of the lower back. Standing for more than a few minutes is sometime difficult.
-Top partners with LBP can kneel as their partners lie on a low chair or firm sofa. Please use plenty of padding under your knees.
-You may both benefit from “Doggy Style” [] or what the Kama Sutra calls ‘congress of a cow’. This will allow both of you to lean forward or backward, maintaining a round back.
-If you are the bottom partner, modify the Missionary by putting a pillow under your knees, bringing both knees towards your chest, or bending one knee into a jacknife pose.
-“Spooning” or side lying positions can also be very comfortable, as long as you maintain a slow pace and communication.
Once your Low Back Pain is gone, you may find that some of these techniques are still a lot of fun, and not just for the injured reserve list. Also, take the opportunity to strengthen, stretch, and balance your spine so you can always play full out. Readers, I’d love to have a conversation in the comments section about what’s working for you and any of your challenges.


With over ten years as a chiropractor, speaker, and nutritionist, Dr. Dorothy Ponton maintains a private practice in San Jose, California.
The focus of her patient education is to discover the relationship between how we live and how we feel.
In her newest project, Head Held High, she asks women, “How to does your posture communicate to yourself, and to the world?”  Through Keynotes, Group Discussions, and Workshops, she addresses the outward signs that are symptoms of exhaustion, imbalance, and stress.
Would love to count you as a Fan of Bliss on Facebook, too.

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